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DEALERSHIP BLOGS... WHO'S STILL DOING THEM?

Ryan Thompson

Sr. Refresher
Apr 21, 2010
401
59
28
First Name
Ryan
So here we are in 2019... almost 2020.

I rarely stumble across any dealership blogs these days. Have dealers officially given up? Has all the focus moved to social media? I know video is all the rage, but certainly some folks are still reading.

We just moved our dealership website to eDealer (I'm in Canada) as apart of the GM program (bye bye CDK). One of the main reasons I chose eDealer was because they were built on Wordpress and we would be able to pump out some content in-house.

I'm just starting to map out how this blog is going to look and what we are going to focus on. It's actually kind of exciting starting from scratch with this initiative.

One of my favourite (yes thats how Canadian's spell it) dealer blogs is:


They do what a dealer blog should do (in my opinion).... ANSWER CUSTOMER QUESTIONS.

Curious to hear from other refreshers on the importance of a dealership blog today.
 
Reactions: John__S

craigh

Super Moderator
May 19, 2011
1,665
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Craig
but certainly some folks are still reading.
Based on newspapers, book sales, article length and the many experiments on Twitter, I'm convinced that people actually don't read anymore.
I have analytics access to some blogs, most of them are dormant but a few still do multiple posts a week.
Hop into the analytics, filter down to only customers in the same country as the dealer and the number drops to almost nothing.
Dig into those visitors further and you find there is no traction and no time on site.

The traffic I am seeing is from other countries, robots and scrapers stealing the content.
None of these blogs are as good as Sleepy Hollow, but I would be equally surprised if they are getting real customer traction on that.

I can't remember who it was, but there was a speaker at one of the automotive conferences that told the story about the pool installer who started a blog and suddenly couldn't keep up with demand for his business. They all went home and paid a company hundreds of dollars a month to build them a blog, but they all missed the essence of it, which you mentioned: answering customer questions. I think it would be more effective to spend your time building a knowledge base portal for things like connecting phones, disabling lock honk, removing spare tire, etc.
 
Reactions: Alex Snyder

Brittany

Getting Refreshed
Jun 25, 2019
53
43
18
First Name
Brittany
I think it would be more effective to spend your time building a knowledge base portal for things like connecting phones, disabling lock honk, removing spare tire, etc.
That's exactly the point! People are still reading, but almost solely digitally now. And that lends itself to being things that actually help them. People are still reading, and they're doing so even more now than ever by being on their phones. They're just reading very different kinds of content than what they were, and it's catching up to that by giving them those "how to" type things that's starting to replace blogs for the local car shopper.
 
Reactions: El Taco

Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
2,797
1,412
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Alex
Content is and will always be king... as long as it is relevant.

The delivery mechanism of that content is tertiary. If you have good content on the blog, great. If you have good content on model-specific pages, great. It is more about understanding the flow of how someone gets to that content:

#1 Create relevant content
#2 Have a path people want to take to get to that content
#3 Is the delivery mechanism fulfilling #1 and #2?
 

Ryan Thompson

Sr. Refresher
Apr 21, 2010
401
59
28
First Name
Ryan
Based on newspapers, book sales, article length and the many experiments on Twitter, I'm convinced that people actually don't read anymore.
I have analytics access to some blogs, most of them are dormant but a few still do multiple posts a week.
Hop into the analytics, filter down to only customers in the same country as the dealer and the number drops to almost nothing.
Dig into those visitors further and you find there is no traction and no time on site.

The traffic I am seeing is from other countries, robots and scrapers stealing the content.
None of these blogs are as good as Sleepy Hollow, but I would be equally surprised if they are getting real customer traction on that.

I can't remember who it was, but there was a speaker at one of the automotive conferences that told the story about the pool installer who started a blog and suddenly couldn't keep up with demand for his business. They all went home and paid a company hundreds of dollars a month to build them a blog, but they all missed the essence of it, which you mentioned: answering customer questions. I think it would be more effective to spend your time building a knowledge base portal for things like connecting phones, disabling lock honk, removing spare tire, etc.
That would be Marcus Sheridan from River Pool Spas.

His motto is/was "they ask, we answer". Similar to the car business, he also was one of the first suppliers to display the price of pools on his website. Funny to think that was a debate once upon a time in our industry.
 
Reactions: craigh

John__S

Noob
Sep 4, 2019
23
16
8
First Name
John
We use a blog to educate the customer, make them feel "at home" before stepping into the dealership and for landing pages when running specials and such. Content on our dealership site ranks regularly in our local area, so having another online property that adds to that authority just makes sense.

As mentioned before, (relevant) content is king.....and something that works great when you do NOT forget about it.
 

John.H

Getting Refreshed
Nov 12, 2018
79
70
18
First Name
John
I can't say that I'm opposed to the idea of having a dealer blog.

On a consumer level, I'd love to see more Video-Blog (vlog) type videos by dealerships and their sales teams. Not only would vlogs give an up close and personal view of a dealers operations, it'll make the car buying experience with said dealer much less frightening/intimidating.

Nothing makes a person more comfortable than knowing MORE about the people you intent to do business with!
 
Reactions: John__S

thomasdef

Noob
Sep 12, 2019
3
2
1
First Name
Thomas
I can't say that I'm opposed to the idea of having a dealer blog.

On a consumer level, I'd love to see more Video-Blog (vlog) type videos by dealerships and their sales teams. Not only would vlogs give an up close and personal view of a dealers operations, it'll make the car buying experience with said dealer much less frightening/intimidating.

Nothing makes a person more comfortable than knowing MORE about the people you intent to do business with!
Are there any other content types you'd like to see from a dealer that you think would actually be effective? Vlogs are everyone's go-to content right now, but I'm still interested in learning what other content would be appropriate for dealerships to host on their site.
 

Ryan Thompson

Sr. Refresher
Apr 21, 2010
401
59
28
First Name
Ryan
We use a blog to educate the customer, make them feel "at home" before stepping into the dealership and for landing pages when running specials and such. Content on our dealership site ranks regularly in our local area, so having another online property that adds to that authority just makes sense.

As mentioned before, (relevant) content is king.....and something that works great when you do NOT forget about it.
John - Would you be willing to share your dealership blog? I'd love to take a look.
 

John__S

Noob
Sep 4, 2019
23
16
8
First Name
John
John - Would you be willing to share your dealership blog? I'd love to take a look.
As of right now, I am going through a major upgrade on our blog so it is a little messy as I re-organize everything so I am not going to offer you that just yet. Once I have the design and layout pinned down I will come back to share :)